What is Arduino?

Arduino is a programmable hardware interface that is used for multiple  functions, among them  prototyping and building electronic projects; It is small, almost as long and wide as a credit-card, and cheap too (about ksh 2500 a piece).

Arduino

Adruino

How it Works

How an arduino works is very simple; It takes input from pins, processes it using a program in its memory, and then output results through other pins and or the serial monitor.

Arduino uno for instance is the most famous one in the family and is based on an AVR microcontroller, specifically atmega328 that has a clock speed of 20 Mhz, which is about as much as is needed for common applications. It has program space (RAM) of about 256kb. It is not that much, and so users have to adapt to writing lean codes to save on space.

It has 6 analog input pins and 14 digital input/output pins, 6 of which are capable of PWM (pulse width modulation) output.

Code in C is written and compiled in the arduino IDE, then uploaded to the platform via usb. The arduino is compatible with several electronic components, both digital and analog. for this reason, arduino is majorly used as the primary interface of a wide range of sensors. Apart from simple components, arduino’s functionality can be enhanced greatly by use of ‘shields’.

Shields are  add-ons that can be purchased separately and sit on the arduino, then extends the pin headers for reuse. There is at least a shield for every application area out there, be it networking, display or even sensing.

Apart from the ecosystem of devices and components that can go into an arduino, there is a large and extensive community behind it, so it is very easy for a new user to get on his feet fast. In case of any difficulty or problem, chances are that several others have experienced it too so finding answers and solutions is pretty easy.

 

 

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Moringa School:

Are you planning to join Moringa School? Here is a cheat for the do’s and don’ts to ensure your survival during the boot-camp.

liz

Liz Kathure (l), Cohort 6 Student

  1. Sleep while you can; once you join you may never enjoy more than 6 hours of sleep again.
  2. Time management; you have 86,400 seconds a day , make each one count by making a to do list every morning.
  3. Google is your friend.
  4. When your code doesn’t work and you can’t figure out why; don’t panic. Take a break, look at something else then come back with a refreshed mind and look for the bug. If you still can’t figure it out, just ask around. It’s probably just a missing semicolon.
  5. As much as possible try to complete all the assignments, unfinished work will most definitely build up and eventually drown you.
  6. Apply yourself; halfhearted work is easily distinguishable from wholehearted work.
  7. Get along with your classmates; you’re stuck with them 12 hours a day, 5 days a week for 16 weeks anyway. So what choice do you have ?
  8. Every once in awhile; take pride in your work. You may not be where you wanted to be but you are definitely not where you used to be.(As far as coding at Moringa School is concerned of course )
  9. At some point; usually around week 7 or 9, you might feel like you are getting accustomed to the pressure, that is the time to work harder and do more , because once you relax you may never regain the momentum. Trust me, I speak from experience.
  10. There’s more than one way to skin a cat; if a tutorial recommended by the instructor isn’t really working for you, go find one that does, people are different some prefer videos others prefer books or blogs. Remember Google is your constant companion.
  11. There’s no “I” in Team; cooperate with your classmates, help each other out, leave no man or lady behind.
  12. Be true to yourself ; as much as you are a team remember that you are different, some people work better at night others really need that beauty sleep. If you compare yourself to others, you may get discouraged or complacent for there always will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
  13. As a man thinketh so is he; believe in yourself, you are capable of accomplishing everything you dream about and so much more. It just comes down to attitude.
  14. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, that’s what the Tech Team is there for.
  15. In Moringa School; Bread, coffee and sometimes pizza is your fuel.
  16. Lastly, never ever give up and strive to be happy.  

All in all Moringa School, will change your life significantly, but only if you let it.

 

What is it that drives you?

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve , the fear of failure. ”  Paulo Coehlo

What makes you get out of bed in the morning? What is your passion? What is your dream? Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

We all have different reasons for doing things which all are valid.  What separates us from one another is the level of focus and commitment to the “cause”.

In programming there is a myth of about the genius programmer. This is the person who sits alone in an isolated corner or office coding complex algorithms. They manage to get everything done “perfectly ” and they are viewed as gods among men.

Yes , there are a few of those out there but even if they exist the story is over exaggerated and not accurate . The main idea here is that most people think that a “genius” programmer does not need any help , or rather it is seen as a form weakness if one exposes their insecurities and lack of understanding in specific areas. We find this phenomena in all fields not only programming where people don’t want to seem incompetent in front of their peers.

As a programmer the code that you write should be reviewed and analysed. This does not mean that you are any less of a programmer than the others, it simply shows that you are human and not perfect. You should put yourself out there , not to be judged but for you to also grow.

We don’t need to feel insecure when compared to other people but we should look at it as a source of inspiration. The fear of appearing stupid in front of others is in all of us we just need to confront it.

For you to be a “genius” programmer there are a few guidelines that I think you should follow.

  1. Embrace criticism – Feedback both positive and negative help you to grow both as person and also as a developer.
  2. Communicate – Practice effective communication and build your interpersonal skills trust me you will need it.
  3. Be open -like a book, be readable.
  4. Make yourself vulnerable – Don’t be afraid of showing your insecurities and shortcomings , being honest about yourself makes people understand and relate to you.
  5. Know yourself .

If you follow these guidelines people might actually think that you are a genius, but in reality you are just being yourself.  

Find what motivates you and also don’t be afraid to “try” even if you fail you still end up with a meaningful experience which will be useful later in life.

 So ,What Drives You?

 

Where did ‘Moringa School’ come from?

Mention tech training in Kenya and one name immediately comes to mind: Moringa School.

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Moringa School Students

Every great brand has a genesis of it’s originality: Moringa School is no exception. Let’s take a look at why the name Moringa fits the organization.

Moringa School is named after the Moringa Tree, which is widely grown in Kenya and Sub Saharan Africa. All parts of the Moringa Tree are used for various purposes. Just like the Moringa Tree, Moringa School graduates utilize all the practical skills they acquire to add value in the tech space in Kenya. The school founders envisioned that anyone who goes through the Moringa School system leaves not only as a rock solid software developer, but fundamental contributors to the global and budding local tech community

Moringa+tree

Moringa Tree

The Moringa Tree is referred to as “the tree of life”. One of Moringa School’s goals is to breathe new life into the education ecosystem by empowering students to realize their highest potentials in technology by imparting them with marketable tech skills.

The healing properties of the Moringa Tree are exemplified in Moringa School by the impact made by graduates who use their newfound skills and community to address and solve issues in the tech space.

Lastly, the Moringa Tree is known for its deep roots. This is mirrored by Moringa School in the vision of being deeply-rooted within the tech community. Moringa School and its community actively contributes to the structural backbone of the local tech ecosystem and facilitates global connections for the Kenyan tech community by running both local and global initiatives and partnerships. The World Bank recently recognized Moringa School for their exceptional work with students to curb unemployment among the youth. In hosting Nairobi Tech Week in April, Moringa School was also chosen among other companies in the tech space to partner with the Twitter Development Community during the Hello World Nairobi Tour in April.

With these similarities, it made perfect sense for the founders of Moringa School to associate and name the school with this strong tree.